Posted by Lori Ayre on March 26, 2020

As of today, it again appears that quarantining library material for 3 days is likely enough time for any coronavirus contamination to breakdown to the point that any detectable amounts of the virus wouldn't cause disease. The original study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine (and to which everyone refers) is here:

Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1

After a report came out indicating that the virus was detected in a passenger ship 17 days after passengers had left the ship put these numbers into question.  But based on a recent interview in The Guardian with two experts, we now understand that the some component of the virus was detected after 17 days but it wouldn't have been dangerous because it was no longer intact.  In other words, it is still safe to say (it seems) that the virus isn't dangerous on anything after 72 hours.

Here's the latest article (interview) that supports the findings in published in NEJM:  How long does coronavirus survive on different surfaces?

I'm keeping track of all these articles under the Safety tag on QuarantineLibrarianship.org.